Atmospheric ice accretion on structures is a problem of fundamental importance to a number of industries. Examples of engineering problems caused by ice accretion involving aircraft, power transmission lines, telecommunication towers, electrical railway contact-wires, and other structures. Under atmospheric icing conditions two basic types of ice may form; rime or glaze. The supercooled micro-droplets in clouds are an important factor in icing. The objective of this study was to develop a new experimental method to investigate a single supercooled micro-droplet freezing process, in order to better understand the mechanism of rime or glaze ice accretion. The experimental device and principles are described in this paper. The experimental set has two small cold rooms, which is separated by a board with a central hole. A droplet with diameter of 15∼40 μm, temperature of 0∼−5°C was levitated in the cold air stream by electrostatic force. A CCD camera tracked its trace. The air temperature is from 0∼−10°C, the micro-droplet diameter is from 15∼40μm, and its temperature is from 0∼−5°C in the experimental study. This article focused on the experimental set and the experimental principles, and the next article will focus on the experimental data analysis.

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